Eon McLeary and Manuel Ruiz on ‘The Work’ Documentary and Mental Health in Prison

In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” host and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer discusses the new documentary “The Work” with producer Eon McLeary and with Manuel “Manny” Ruiz, one of the subjects. The documentary follows members of a group therapy program at Folsom State Prison created by the Inside Circle Foundation, which brings together inmates and non-inmates to work through mental health issues. It’s a rare view into the reality of life for the 2.3 million Americans currently behind bars.

Ruiz describes how the program helped all the participants learn to understand and express their feelings, to not fear being vulnerable. “The last thing I would ever show anybody is what I considered being vulnerable or weak,” he tells Scheer, “or what anybody else would say: ‘That guy’s, you know, kind of soft or weak, or that’s easy prey.’ 

McLeary discusses why he wanted to make this documentary, the impact of the program, how it’s helped inmates avoid conflict when they’re released, and his personal connection to the program.

– Truthdig

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